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Letter: A deadly wake-up call for Jews

Pallbearers carry a casket from Rodef Shalom Congregation

Pallbearers carry a casket from Rodef Shalom Congregation following the funeral for Tree of Life Congregation shooting victims Cecil Rosenthal and David Rosenthal on Tuesday in Pittsburgh. Credit: AFP/Getty Images / Brendan Smialowski

Many times I have heard the mistaken mantra “It can’t happen here.”

Sadly, the Pittsburgh pogrom highlights a well of hatred that prevails in American society today [“11 dead in synagogue shooting,” News, Oct. 28]. It is focused against President Donald Trump, but it is bound to turn against Jews, regardless of how secular or religious they are.

America’s Jews want(ed) to believe that it could never happen in America. Our democracy, founded on liberalism and equality, would surely protect them. Jews have found success in many fields, giving them a feeling of security. Many years free of fear, living the good life without violent outbursts, convinced many in the current generation that the Jewish people have finally found a permanent safe haven in America.

Pittsburgh has destroyed this delusion; hatred of Jews is alive and thriving.

Rabbi Meir Kahane, assassinated while speaking in Manhattan in 1990, warned that the history of hatred of the Jews, in one country after the next, needs merely match of political, social or economic crises to erupt.

Trump’s election unleashed an explosion of hatred across our political and social climate and removed the veil from the face of American liberalism, revealing the frightening and ugly face of fascism.

Bernard A. Bilawsky, North Massapequa

Americans must use the power of the vote

The barrage of recent events has left many of us stunned [“America faces a reckoning,” Editorial, Oct. 30]. One reaction heard more often is the phrase: “I don’t know what to do. There are too many problems, but I’m just not political.”

These are good, kind people! Do they suffer from news overload? Just plain tired of listening to what’s wrong?

I wonder: Is it political or human to weep when people are killed in a house of worship, school, movie theater or office?

Is it political or reasonable to hope for civility and to show it in return?

Is it political or expected to base debates on facts?

Americans have an important power — our vote. Look at the candidates. Understand that it’s rare that we agree with everything a candidate stands for. But find one that comes close to the principles important to you. Make a commitment! Vote!

When we do not use our right to vote, we empower others to choose for us.

Virginia O’Sullivan, Rockville Centre

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